How to keep your dog safe around pools and water

So you are considering visiting a spot with a water feature - a pool, pond or river. Water can be a lot of fun, but they can also be dangerous if you are not careful.

It's important that you be aware of how you can visit a spot like this safely - it is your responsibility to keep your dog safe at spots. We found some helpful information from PetMD (source) that can provide some insight for being safe around water with your pup.

General safety guidelines:

  • Rinse him off after he’s been in any type of water. Seawater minerals, salt, chlorine, algae, and pollution can irritate or damage his skin and fur.
  • Remove his flea collar before he swims. Water can wash off its active ingredients.
  • Dry your dog’s ears completely to prevent an infection. Try an ear cleaner that has a drying agent in it.
  • Learn canine CPR. Mouth-to-nose resuscitation and chest compressions could save a dog’s life in an emergency.
  • Never leave your pal alone in the water.

Safely swimming:

  • Choose a quiet, shallow spot in the water.
  • Keep your dog on a leash while he learns.
  • Get into the water with him.
  • Start at the edge of the water, and stay as long as he enjoys it.
  • If he doesn't want to go, don’t force him in -- especially if it’s a deep spot.
  • When your dog begins to paddle with his front legs, lift his hind legs to show him how to float.

Beaches:

  • Watch out for strong currents and riptides, which can take you both out to sea. Even the best swimmer can be in danger when seas are rough.
  • Don’t let your dog drink ocean water. It can make him sick. Bring fresh H2O with you to keep him hydrated.
  • Keep your pal away from fish that have washed onto the shore. They may smell great to him, but they can make him ill.

In the pool:

  • Put a fence around it to keep your dog out when it isn’t time to swim. [In our case, make sure to note whether the pool has a fence around it and make sure you plan accordingly.]
  • Keep a sturdy cover over it when you aren’t using it. It should be made of a material that lets rainwater drain through. Dogs can drown in puddles on top of pool covers. [In our case, make sure to note whether the pool has a sturdy cover on it and make sure you plan accordingly.]
  • Teach your dog how to get in and out. Make sure there are steps or a ramp he can use to climb out.
  • Check the water temperature before letting your dog take a dip. Only a few breeds can handle extra-cold water. 

Rivers, lakes and ponds:

  • Get your dog a life jacket, especially if you take him out on a boat or a dock.
  • Steer clear of bodies of water with blue-green algae. It can make your buddy sick.
  • Check the current of a river or a creek. Make sure it isn’t too strong to let your dog swim.
  • Keep your pal away from fishing gear. Sharp hooks and barbs can hurt him.
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